Staff and Board

8 women, 6 standing and 2 sitting in front of them.
Our team at Decoda Literacy Solutions is made up of a diverse group of professionals who are committed to building a culture of community-based literacy and learning in BC.


Get to know our staff at Decoda. Here we have photos, bios and personal philosophies of each team member. They’re a great group with a passion for literacy and learning.

Portrait of SandraSandra has a Masters degree in Library Science and has enjoyed 25 years in literacy programs and information management – from children’s librarianship to managing a library education program at the post-secondary level. She taught at the University of Hong Kong and conducted research in adult learning and information literacy. At the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, she chaired the Library technician program and Journalism program — a busy leadership role that allowed her to realize her passion and commitment to supporting learners.

Portrait of a womanGail joined Decoda with more than 20 years of experience as a professional fundraiser. Prior to Decoda, she worked with Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and the BC SPCA.

Gail provides fundraising expertise in direct mail, online giving, major gifts, foundation grants, monthly and planned giving. Gail is also the senior editor of The Westcoast Reader. She believes literacy is a fundamental human right and the key to reducing poverty.

Decoda Aliza HeadshotAliza brings a range of expertise to Decoda, including non-formal education, early learning, community development, volunteer management, research and journalism. Previously, she worked in Nepal for UNESCO implementing various projects on adult literacy, gender equality and early childhood education. She has worked with DIVERSEcity, ECEBC and Lions Clubs International, and is a recipient of the Excellence Award of Appreciation for commendable leadership and community service.

Portrait of a womanMaureen has worked as a literacy advocate for many years. She was involved in community development and partnership building through her work as a literacy outreach coordinator and in pilot programs for adult learning and ESL in the Fraser Cascade region. Her background in health and employment services has provided the context for teaching and gaining experience in a variety of environments. She feels she is most in her element when she is out in the elements.

Portrait of a woman wearing a black dress shirt.

Jade joined Decoda with over ten years of experience in education, including teaching and curriculum planning for students from kindergarten to adults.

Jade is Decoda’s training specialist and the production and instructional materials editor of The Westcoast Reader.

Previously, Jade worked at Sylvan as a Centre Director. She holds degrees in Linguistics and Education. Jade is a passionate educator who believes that literacy is a key to opening doors for people so they can have better job opportunities, better health and a better life overall. On weekends, Jade is either painting or enjoying outdoor activities with her dog.

Staff portraitLea has worked in the information field for over ten years. Prior to Decoda, Lea worked as the librarian & archivist at a local museum. She holds a Master’s degrees in Library and Information Studies and Archival Studies from UBC and has a background in history and archaeology.

Lea acted as Decoda’s librarian but is currently the web and database administrator.

Lea is passionate about helping people find the information they need and interpret it in a clear and concise way. She believes in removing literacy barriers so people can pursue their dreams.

Portrait of a womanTrish manages Decoda’s social media platforms, writes impact stories for the website and contributes to The Westcoast Reader newspaper. She has 25 years’ experience writing, editing, marketing and media planning for corporate, retail, non-profit, municipal organizations and newspapers. She was also a literacy outreach coordinator for North Vancouver Island communities.

Portrait of a womanNatasha joined the Decoda team with over 10 years of non-profit experience. Prior to Decoda, Natasha worked with Coast Mental Health, Frontier College and Lu’ma Native Housing Society. At Frontier College, she witnessed how literacy combined with a safe space can foster community and confidence amongst youth. When not working, Natasha can be found chasing her active toddler around one of the city’s playgrounds. Natasha believes literacy is a building block to success in life and is thrilled to be working with Decoda.

Portrait of a man standing in a blue plaid shirtAlex recently graduated from Langara College’s Library and Information Technology program and was Student Representative for his program during his undergrad. Prior to Decoda, he graduated from UBC with a Bachelor of Science in General Agroecology and worked for the Federal Government. During his practicums at Langara, Alex witnessed the importance of literacy for people across all ages and feels literacy is a fundamental building block that is essential for building the life you wish to create for yourself. Outside of work, Alex is exercising, hanging out with friends or reading self-improvement books on various topics.

Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is a distinguished group of leaders whose commitment and strategic decision-making have made an impact in communities across British Columbia. The dedication, commitment and wisdom they bring to Decoda not only guides our work, but reflects our values. We are proud to work with such a knowledgeable and generous group of individuals.

We are recruiting for new members of the Board of Directors. Please visit Join Our Team to learn more.

Decoda board Ralf

In the two decades since completing his PhD, Ralf has been involved in many fascinating projects and in universities in three countries: the UK, the US and Canada. Some of the highlights include an EU-funded study of vocational adult education across Europe, managing a massive skills survey in Scotland for the Scottish Government and a large-scale exploration of educational aspirations in deprived areas of the UK. Ralf is former Dean the Faculty of Education at the University of Victoria. One of his favourite things to do is write books. He has four single-authored books out so far, and always has a sharp pencil to hand! One of his favourite genres is detective stories and he hopes one day to have time to write one.

Manmeet headshotManmeet brings nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry to Decoda. He has held various executive and senior leadership positions during his career, including President and Chief Executive Officer for Fiduciary Trust Canada, Senior Vice President at Aviso Wealth and Chief Investment Officer for Qtrade Financial Group. Manmeet has earned several industry designations, including Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and CFA Certificate in ESG Investing among others. He’s a graduate of the I.H. Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba (Bachelor of Commerce).

Portrait of a woman standing against a beige background wearing a blue scarf.In 1981, Pat began her teaching career as a CUSO volunteer in rural Nigeria. Later, Pat became a reading specialist and coordinated an urban adult literacy program. In 1996, Pat co-founded Grass Roots Press, with the dream of creating a collection of books for adults with low-literacy skills. She experienced a steep learning curve as she transitioned from the world of education, where she had earned a doctorate degree, to the business of publishing. During the past two decades, Pat has engaged in several research and development projects in the areas of health, reading, and assessment. She is the author of Teaching Reading to Adults: A Balanced Approach, which was based on a large-scale SSHRC study.  In 2012, Nunavut College approached Pat to create their intake assessment based on her experience developing the Canadian Adult Reading Assessment and the Diagnostic Adult Literacy Assessment for Beginning Readers. Pat is semi-retired and enjoys teaching yoga, gardening, and swimming in the Salish Sea year-round with a group of human “seals.”

Tracy Defoe headshotTracy brings a practitioner perspective to our Decoda board. She has been teaching adults for more than 40 years, starting at UBC’s English Language Institute, retiring in 2023 from Capilano University’s Community Development and Outreach Department where she taught in and managed a Community Adult Learning Program among other duties. Tracy is a specialist in workplace learning, and literacy and numeracy are foundational to her practice. She works as a consultant and coach through TLFI The Learning Factor Inc. She has a BA in French, and an MA in Education (Curriculum and Instruction) both from UBC.

Lynn GreenOver her forty-year career as an educator and administrator in public education, Lynn has assumed a variety of leadership roles with the Vancouver Board of Education including Associate Superintendent (2008 – 2010), Staff Development Consultant, District Principal (Counselling and Support Services), Secondary School Vice Principal & Principal, and Learning and Development District Administrator. She has also been a teacher and counsellor in elementary and secondary schools in Ontario and BC. More recently Lynn served as President and CEO of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education (2010 – 2013) and has offered education consulting services to such organizations as the BC School Trustees Association and the Take A Hike Foundation. Community volunteer experience include North Shore Restorative Justice Board of Directors (2016 – 2020) and Hollyburn Community Services Society Board of Directors (2016-present). Lynn received a Bachelor of Arts (1967) and a Master of Education in Counselling Psychology (1984) from the University of British Columbia.

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With over 8 years of experience in public administration, Eunice is a skilled Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) who currently serves as the Budget Manager for the School District of Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows. Concurrently, she lends her expertise to Mom2Mom Charity in Vancouver as a dedicated Board of Director. Beyond her professional roles, Eunice is passionate about financial literacy, actively participating in CPA Canada’s Financial Literacy Program to empower others with her knowledge.